This time last year I was in North America attempting a mountain bike ride from Banff in the Canadian Rocky mountains all the way to Mexico following forest roads through the rocky mountains. After 4000km I called it quits, 400km short of the Mexican border. This was a very hard bike ride both physically and mentally. The mental games were huge, every day, and sometimes all day.
A fellow biker, Jill Homer, did the ride in 2009 and is considering doing it again. Just like me, she hurt, and promised herself she would never do it again. But then all that pain slips away, you get back to normal life and start to think of all the things you could have done a little different. Some miner adjustments and some major changes, all adding up to being able to do the race faster with very little pain. The mind games never stop. Below are some of Jill Homer’s thoughts, mind games (she calls it the inner child). They are well worth reading and then re-reading.
“So why, inner child, why? Of course there’s that element of experience to consider – that our most memorable, authentic experiences happen outside the scope of our comfort zones, but another is to approach a familiar environment in a new way. The latter is arguably the better way to seek new experiences within our expansive inner landscapes. just trying to survive amid a barrage of physical turmoil and self-doubt can be more rewarding, and in many ways more enlightening, than simply traveling to a place where I can take my new pretty pictures. The world in side our own minds goes quite a bit deeper than we realize. And seeking out these places in and of itself is not an easy journey. Often it takes a hard-fought unraveling of protective layers to expose the raw truths at our core.
Inner child doesn’t care. She just continues to dance beside the door, wanting to be let outside.
After many years of successful resistance, this might be the year I just happen to cave in”